Recap: Sender goes with Uncle Adam to meet the Wright brothers and they offer Sender a job to come with them to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to take photos of their flights. Sender is thrilled, but there’s one difficulty and that is: He isn’t sure if Bubby will approve of his going so far away.
When I walked through the door at home, Ruchy limped over to hug me. “Welcome back, Sender!”’
Watching her limp brought the usual lump to my throat.
Bubby came out of the kitchen holding a telegram. “I just got a telegram from your mother.”
“How is she?” Telegrams could be bad news.
“She’s, baruch Hashem, making progress, and the doctor thinks she can come back home in a few months.”
“Yay!” Ruchy yelled.
“Baruch Hashem,” I said.
“Go unpack. Dinner will be ready in a few minutes. I could use your help with setting the table,” Bubby said.
When we were seated, Ruchy wanted to know all about the Wright brothers and the flying machine.
“It was amazing the way they put it together and its going to fly up––”
Bubby interrupted. “I don’t want to hear about all of that nonsense. If Hashem meant for us to fly, we’d have wings like birds.”
Ruchy toyed with her peas, and I could tell she was disappointed. I would tell her about the flying machine later. Why did Bubby hate the idea of flying so much?
“Now, Sender, I wanted to speak to you about your job. When your mother comes home, I want you to consider switching. Dayton is a trip and your mother is going to need extra care and help.”
I felt my stomach plummet and I suddenly lost my appetite. How would I ask for permission to go to Kitty Hawk now, when she didn’t think Dayton was a good idea?
Bubby wiped her mouth with her cloth napkin. “Sender, I made your favorite beef stew. Why aren’t you eating?”
“It’s very good. Thank you, Bubby,” I said, trying to swallow the next bite.
“Anyway, I spoke with Mr. Corman, the ice man. Now that’s a job with a future. He could take on a young apprentice and that job can lead to running your own business.”
Working for Mr. Corman, delivering heavy blocks of ice, was not my idea of a good job. It sounded terrible.
Ruchy shot me a sympathetic look.
“Bubby, thank you for, for trying to help me. I made a commitment to the Wright brothers for now and—”
“Yes, well, this wouldn’t be for a few months, but I wanted you to prepare for it and let them know. I never really approved of what they’re doing.”
“May I be excused?”
Bubby stared at my plate. “Well, it’s a shame to waste all that good food. Yes, you may be excused.”
Ruchy asked next, and after we’d cleared the table and washed the dishes, Ruchy and I went upstairs.
Ruchy sat on the edge of my bed. “Tell me now about the flying machine. Will it really zoom up into space?”
I described the details, and her eyes grew wide. “It’s a miracle! Do you like working with them?”
“They’re really nice and smart. They asked me to shoot photos of their flights.”
“That’s such an important job. But what about Bubby? She doesn’t approve.”
“I know.” I hadn’t mentioned about going to Kitty Hawk. If only Uncle Adam were still here. He was the only one who could convince her. How was I going to convince her to let me go?
That night as I tossed and turned in bed, I came up with a plan. It was not the best, but it was all I could think of. Bubby knew I was working far away with the brothers. If I was in Dayton or Kitty Hawk, it wouldn’t make a difference. I still was planning to stay away for a few weeks. I’d just tell her I’d be away for three weeks and she didn’t have to know how far away.
It was bothering me a little to not reveal the truth, but I wanted to earn the bike for Ruchy and I really wanted to take photos of the Wright brothers’ flights. If I only had a month, I wasn’t going to give it up. No way.
As I drifted off to sleep, a disturbing thought needled me. Would Aba have approved of me not disclosing the whole truth to Bubby?
To be continued…
By Susie Garber